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tv   Nightline  ABC  March 15, 2014 12:37am-1:08am PDT

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tonight on "nightline," breaking news. the malaysian prime minister has just announced they're now convinced that the unusual movements of flight 370 were the result of deliberate action by someone on the plane. toddler wannabes. competing for gigs as little versions of everyone from katy perry to jennifer lawrence. inside the world of celebrity mini m's and their quest for fame. >> i'm leaning toward this girl. >> what it really means for the parents and their kids. picture this. you post innocent photos of yourself online. somehow they end up on a revenge porn site. suddenly you look like this.
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to take them down? the site wants $400. this young mother says it happened to her. >> it infuriated me. >> could it happen to you? >> keep it right here, america.
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from new york city, this is "nightline" with dan abrahams. thank you for joining us. breaking news on missing malaysian flight 370, moments ago the malaysian prime minister announced they're now certain the unusual movements of the plane were the result of "deliberate action" by someone on board. officials are still investigating all possibilities as to what could have caused the plane to deviate from its path. but according to new data, satellites tracked the flight in the air for almost eight hours. far longer than investigators initially believed. they're now focusing the search
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on two possible corridors. one stretching from the border of kazakhstan to northern thailand. the other from indonesia to the southern indian ocean. abc's bob woodruff is in kuala lumpur with the very latest. >> reporter: after one week of searching thousands of miles over land and sea, the malaysian prime minister spoke at a news conference for the first time since flight 370 vanished. >> we can say with a high degree of certainty that the aircraft communications, addressing and reporting system of aircraft was stable just before the aircraft reached the east coast of peninsula. >> reporter: the whereabouts of malaysia airlines flight 370 are still a mystery but authorities can confirm the plane's communication systems were shut
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off intentionally. >> this movement are consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane. >> reporter: and this news, according to new data satellites tracked the flight in the air over seven hours. investigators have pinpointed two new search areas from the border of kazakhstan to northern thailand, or from indonesia to the southern indian ocean. thousands of miles apart, they now can end their search in the south china sea. u.s. investigators tell abc news they know the plane made more than one turn and flew out over the indian ocean. >> that indicates that somebody may be on the controls. >> reporter: the two communications systems were turned off on purpose. pilots know how to do this as abc was shown in a boeing simulator today. >> it can be relatively easily switched off by rotating the nob clockwise. >> reporter: a data system was also turned off according to our source, but part of that system
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keeps working. it can't be turned off, something pilots around the world didn't know until yesterday. it's a transmitter, still pinging, talking to a satellite every hour, sending a signal that is then relayed to the ground. >> someplace on the top here is a transmitter sending a signal to sat heat? >> yeah. >> reporter: even if they found wreckage it could be deep, parts of indian ocean as deep as nine world trade center buildings. today, no one in the pilots' neighborhood we talked to had anything bad to say about either pilot. >> we realize this is an excruciating time for the families of those on board. no words can describe the pain they must be going through. >> for "nightline," bob woodruff in kuala lumpur. >> thanks bob. abc news will stay on top of this breaking story. we shift gears to a very different type of story. you may have heard of celebrity
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look-alikes, booking gigs for their uncanny resemblance to the hollywood elite. kids are doing it too. from crazy outfits to wild makeup there's stiff competition to become miniature versions of these celebs. are these precocious preschoolers taking it too far? here's abc's juju chang. >> reporter: do you ever wonder what lupita might have looked like as an 8-year-old or or jennifer lawrence as a schoolgirl? or mreyl? or pharrell for that matter? if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, these a-list mini mes are going extremes. to pay homage to the stars they ado adore. stage kids 2.0, in the celebrity soaked world, the children are bombarded with the message that fame is everything. >> my own children say to me all of the time now, can we be on youtube? and i said, absolutely not. but they get it from their friends and they get it from the friends looking at things and they're constantly seeking attention. and sometimes in not so healthy ways.
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>> reporter: so, they're chasing stardom, younger than ever. how does it feel? >> it feels good. >> reporter: yeah? how young is too young, too soon? is it just harmless dress-up? or something more troubling? when everyone seems convinced that fame is just a selfie away. why do you think so many kids want to be stars these days? >> well, i just think that they want to be famous. >> reporter: do you want to be famous? >> yeah. >> reporter: why? do you think? >> i want people to know me. >> reporter: but first they have to get noticed, which is why these kids do it for free. even if it's a longshot at fame. it's called toddlewood, the brain child the photographer tricia messeroux. where kids imitate red carpet celebs. her glossy images often go viral on buzzfeed or "access hollywood." >> i started modeling at age 2 1/2. >> reporter: 8-year-old aspiring actor j.p. vanderlu drove four hours from washington for one
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audition. >> i think of it as like acting, like getting to know your character. >> reporter: you take this very seriously. >> yeah, i do. >> reporter: these trips are a weekly routine for this third grader, all in the hopes of landing that one big role. >> i think we're very close to our destination. to the audition. >> reporter: j.p.'s mom tries to support his ambition, even if she finds it at times baffling. and you're not vicariously living through your child? >> no, i'm actually a very shy person, and i've never had any interest in acting or anything surrounding acting. >> reporter: no gig is worth turning away because fame could be just around the corner, why j.p. thinks toddlewood could be his big break. he's competing against 425 other kids for a chance to sparkle in toddlewood. tricia and her team assembled to watch the major award shows. the golden globes, the oscars, on this night the grammys.
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>> we're looking at the wall of fame and choosing kids we match with the celebrities we choose. >> reporter: the photos hang on the wall for this casting call. >> she's a little chunkier, you know. taylor's really slim. >> reporter: one of 12 coveted spots. >> i'm still leaning toward this girl. i think she's going to be great. yeah. >> reporter: you've seen the show where families seem to be willing to do anything for the spotlight, like "dance moms." >> out of my face. girls out the room. [ bleep ]. >> out of the room. >> all of you. out of the room. >> reporter: but this is less about stage moms, these are stage kids. it seems that the moms are living vicariously through the kids. >> yeah. my daughter is the one who's surprising me. sometimes i wish she'd be a kid. >> reporter: logan is a parenting expert and therapist.
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how do you stop a kid who says this is my burning desire, this is my one thing in life? >> i would ask ourselves, is it really that our kids want to do this or do they see us partaking in it on our screens, on our pdas, that we're looking at these things and we're teaching our kids that these images have value. >> reporter: it's been a big year for 6-year-old erin kirk. >> when i was your age i would never get up on the stage by myself and do a solo. >> i would. >> you would? you're not afraid at all? >> reporter: she's practicing for her first solo performance in an upcoming recital. erin is about to find out if she made the cut for toddlewood. >> start making a couple of phone calls. calling the parents. waking some of them up. >> reporter: it's tough to tell who's more excited, the parents or the kids. >> hi, heather, this is tricia. >> my heart is beating right now. >> we would like erin to join us for a toddlewood adventure. >> oh, my god.
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>> erin will be playing the role of the fabulous and gorgeous katy perry. >> oh, my gosh! >> i know. >> reporter: with the cast set, it's time to create that red carpet glam. in new york's fashion district. >> we're shopping for fabric here, hoping they have the exact thing we saw last night. >> reporter: it's a race against the clock to fashion together a dozen outfits. both j.p. and erin made the cut. and they're joining a dozen other kids in these over the top makeovers. to strut like a hip-hop star. or a pop princess. arianna is about to transform into grammy nominee cyndi lauper. >> come on, that hair looks like a hat. >> tricia sees her photographs as art imitating life. hollywood life, anyway. but she rejects outfits that are risque. does it feel too suggestive to you or something? >> i don't want anything that implies the kids are sexy or
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things like that. it needs to stay cute. >> reporter: but are these stage kids sacrificing a carefree childhood in the rush to be famous? what's wrong with posing for red carpet pictures? what's wrong with a 6-year-old doing this? >> there's nothing wrong with kids doing any of this unless it becomes their sort of reason for living where they need to be out there and they need to be seen by others and they need the makeup and the hair. that's sad. we want kids to be kids. >> when you look in the mirror, what do you think? >> i think i look messed up. >> reporter: what do you mean, you look messed up? >> my lips are all messed up. >> reporter: you're right, they're a little bit messed up. it's erin's moment to roar. ♪ and grandma is all choked with emotion. >> i see you watching your granddaughter and you're getting emotional. >> yes. >> reporter: what's making you emotional? >> it's something that she loves to do. she's a performer.
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♪ >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm juju chang in new york. ♪ you're gonna hear me roar >> who knew? thanks, juju. next, how this married mother of two young kids woke up to find her completely g-rated pictures being used in a very x-rated way. and what she tried to do about it. [ female announcer ] we lowered her fever. you raise her spirits. we tackled your shoulder pain. you make him rookie of the year. we took care of your cold symptoms. you take him on an adventure. tylenol® has been the number 1 doctor recommended brand of pain reliever for over 20 years. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol®.
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these days lots of us post photos online for friends, family and fun but now some unscrupulous businesses are taking shared and in some cases finding unshared pictures and posting them on x-rated sites, then demanding big bucks from victims to take them down. and often there is not much law enforcement can do about it. we welcome our correspondent to "nightline" with this report. >> reporter: salt lake city blogger melissa esplin has more
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than 3,000 photos online. charming images of her calligraphy and craft projects and many innocent pictures of herself. two weeks ago the married mother of two young kids woke up to find that her perfectly pg pics were being useed in a very x-rated way. >> it infuriated me and sort of sent me into a panic. i was angry that people would think that that person was me. >> reporter: some of the totally innocent photos from her blog had been taken and posted on a porn site next to very graphic images of what melissa says is someone else's body. along with a list of sex acts she supposedly enjoys. that's not all, her name and the city she lives in and link to her facebook page were there, too. she started getting bombarded with messages from strange men. >> you're pretty, those pictures were really interesting, i would like to get to know you more and some got considerably more graphic. >> reporter: then the second shock. esplin says when she went to the website to demand the pictures be removed, she was led to
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another site with a striking offer. pay $400 to get the photos taken down. she called that cyberextortion. >> really? like i would pay somebody $400. i mean who knows what they would have done with my credit card information? >> reporter: experts say what happened to esplin could happen to anyone and events like this are more common than ever. >> if you find your photos have been misused you can report it, but basically you're on your own. because there's not really a place for law enforcement to step in. >> reporter: the page with her pictures has been viewed more than 75,000 times since being posted on what's known as a revenge porn site where typically a bitter ex posts ris day pictures or video of their former lover online and in an instant the deeply intimate moment becomes ruthlessly public. kayla laws found that out the hard way. a topless picture she admits is her showed up against her will all over the internet.
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>> it's embarrassing to know they've seen that photo of me and they know what i look like now topless. because of that site. >> reporter: kayla says she was hacked but what she didn't know at the time was that she was just another in a long embarrassed line of women who had become victims. in kayla's case the cyber attackers picked the wrong victim with the right mom. >> was extremely difficult for the whole family, not just my daughter that was victimized it was really the entire family. because it impacts everybody in the victim's life. >> reporter: charlotte laws has been called the erin brockovich of revenge porn. frustrated there were few specific legal protections on the books, she set out to enlist more victims and push lawmakers. two years later, california enacted one of the first laws in the nation. >> the amendment, it will cover 100% of victims. anybody who distributes a nude or topless picture without the victim's consent, that would be illegal. >> reporter: authorities are cracking down.
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case in point, yougotposted.com which critics claim specialized in revenge porn, run by a 27-year-old san diego man. what if something did that to your sister? or your mother? how would you feel? >> reporter: kevin bollor was arrested on 31 counts of felony conspiracy, identity theft and extortion. investigators say he got himself into trouble, not by simply humiliating people but charging victims $250 to $350 to remove the images using e-mail sent through a website called changemyreputation.com. he's pled not guilty. >> it's incredibly difficult for victims to find a remedy. it's difficult to get any type of civil suits to be initiated against these perpetrators because that costs a lot of money and often does bring more publicity to the images. >> reporter: as charlotte laws celebrates the fact that more states are cracking down on revenge porn, she knows technology is often one step ahead. after all, people everywhere love taking pictures of themselves and sharing them. >> the law has not kept up with
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technology. it's true. there are so many pictures on the internet, there's so much information out there. i don't think there's really a way to curb that. >> reporter: melissa filed a complaint with the fbi but that adult website she says is trying to extort her is registered in another country. so at this point, she may have done all she can short of paying that removal fee. and even then, there are no guarantees. >> i'm hopeful that they'll be taken down or the whole site will be taken down. i mean, i'm -- i'm one of many women extorted on this site every day. and, you know, i would hate for somebody to go through what i've gone through. >> reporter: i'm mara schiavocampo in new york city. >> many states are now trying to change their laws to make it easier for victims and law enforcement to take action. we'll be right back. ♪ driving rl
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[dad] [lau [boy] mom!ughs] [mom] yes? [boy] whoa,whoa,whoa... [mom and dad] [laughing] [boy] whoa,whoa,whoa... [mom] you've got two left feet,boo. now to recap the latest developments on the missing malaysia airlines plane. the malaysian prime minister has just made his first comments since it disappeared seven days ago with 239 on board. he announced they're now certain the plane's mystifying turns as it deviated from its flight path
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were the result of deliberate action by someone on board. officials have concluded based on new satellite data that the plane was likely in the air for almost eight hours. and have refocused their search to two years. one stretching from the border of kazakhstan to northern thailand. the other from indonesia to the southern indian ocean. we'll stay on top of that story. thanks for watching. check out the premiere of ""nightline" prime" at 9:00 eastern tomorrow. good night. have a great night.
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